Last week, Groceryships groups began exploring the topic of Food Addiction. Our first stop along the journey was Candyland! Together, group leaders and members discussed the insidious impact that sugar has on our bodies-- and our communities.
The statistics on sugar consumption are scary. Did you know that an estimated 80% of all processed foods have added sugar? The impact is obvious: the average woman is now 20 lbs. heavier than she would have been 50 years ago, childhood obesity is skyrocketing, and by 2050 it is estimated that 1/3 of the adult population in the U.S. will have diabetes.
One of our Group Leaders created this visual aide to demonstrate how much sugar we're really sipping in each of these commonly consumed beverages. Beware! Even looking at the poster may cause cavities!
As our groups shared firsthand, the especially challenging thing about the prevalence of sugar is how easily our brains get addicted to it. As former hunters and gatherers, our bodies were hardwired to crave sweetness. In our early evolution, sweetness was a signal that this food was energy-dense, and we needed all the energy we could get from any one source because back then, food was scarce.
Now that food is abundant, this biologically-designed sweet-tooth has been exploited by food companies that profit by selling us exactly what we want most: Sugar! Sugar! Sugar!
Group members continue to make the connection that their food habits are linked to their emotions. During the sharing circle, many members shared that eating sweets was a way they rewarded themselves when things were going well, or cheered themselves up when things were going badly.
On the other hand, many members also celebrated their successes in cutting out sodas, juices, and "Monster" drinks from their diet-- a huge leap forward on the path towards health and addiction-free eating!